As a sort of capstone on 2010, the other day I gave you some of my favorite books I discovered during the year.  Today, I want to follow-up with some other resources I discovered this past year which I found helpful, interesting, insightful or just in general contributed to my personal evolution these past 12 months.  So here we go in no particular order…

IPhone 4

I keep getting blown away on how extremely useful this device is!  Quick example – recently  Mary and I were headed into bed when the phone rang with a reverse 911 call.  I can’t say that I’ve ever gotten one of these before.  The message said that police were attempting to apprehend a “shooter” in our neighborhood and that we should go down into our basement for safety until we received another call.  As you can imagine, this freaked us out a bit but we did as instructed.  As we sat in one room away from any windows waiting for the all clear call, we wondered how far this “shooter” was from our house.  Then it occurred to me that I had downloaded a police scanner app on my iPhone.  Running this app we were able to discover that the police had the shooter surrounded and the address.  While continuing to listen to their progress in capturing the man, we were able to pull up a map of the address on our phone and determine that we were far from harm’s way.  (Fortunately, early this morning the police apprehended this man and all involved in the incident were okay.)  I could go on and on with examples of how this phone assists me but I think you get the picture.  I’ve heard from friends who are big fans of the other smart phones – I don’t really have any experience with them – but whether it’s the iPhone or one of these others, I highly recommend you checking into them if you haven’t already.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Software

I started with version 10 and recently upgraded to version 11.  This program is great!  You talk – it types!  The more you use it, the better it gets at understanding your voice.  Start up your word processing program and Dragon, put on your microphone and begin dictating.  There is a small percentage of misunderstood words when you begin, but over time that small percentage shrinks and shrinks.  You can do punctuation and formatting with specialized commands.  I do most of my writing now with Dragon.

Film: What in the World Are They Spraying?

I mention this movie as I suspect many of you have never heard of it.  Although I certainly would not consider myself some type of “conspiracy nut”, Mary and I do like to challenge ourselves by reviewing media outside the mainstream with alternate viewpoints on what’s going on in the world.  There is a whole genre of films we call “movies that p*** you off” – films like “the Corporation”, “Food Inc.”, “The Future of Food” and so on that you can watch and feel called to investigate further and if appropriate take personal action.  This film is in that category.  The topic is chemtrails, chemical discharges from airplanes which leave long vapor trails in the sky that dissipate slowly.  Most jet vapor trails (called contrails) disappear within a minute or two.  This film has made me more aware of the high number of jet trails that linger in the sky crisscrossing one another.  The film suggests (and offers some evidence) that these trails are part of a surreptitious geo-engineering effort.  It’s easy to dismiss such theories and the people who offer them as part of some “lunatic fringe” aspect of society.  Before you do that, I simply invite you to watch this film.

EnlightenNext Magazine

I’ve been reading Andrew Cohen’s excellent magazine for a number of years – from back when it was called “What Is Enlightenment?”  Recently they changed their name to EnlightenNext to reflect their emphasis upon evolutionary spirituality.  It’s as if as they explored the concept of spirituality and enlightenment, they realized that our spirituality is part of our personal and collective evolution, so much so that evolution became a critical aspect of its content.  Their tagline is now “the magazine for evolutionaries”.  This change took a really good magazine and made it outstanding in my opinion.  If you’re focus is on where humanity is evolving, especially in consciousness and spirituality, then this magazine is must reading.

Rick Steves

Mary and I went to Europe this past year and Rick was our guide.  Funny how I had never really paid attention to him before but then as we focused on our trip planning, everywhere I looked was stuff by Rick.  Videos, guidebooks, web site, a PBS show, and a whole slew of things to support your travel experience.  After looking at a number of travel sources, I decided that Rick’s approach met my intentions.  I followed a bunch of Rick’s advice and our trip was fantastic!  I even jokingly point out that I traveled to Europe with a Rick Steve’s travel bag!

Netflix

I was already a member of the DVD by mail program.  I got tired of Blockbuster never having the esoteric movies I wanted to see—Netflix has almost every film I want to view!  Yet, in the past year their whole effort to move to streaming video has been in tune with my desires.  Funny how I can have 500 channels on cable, 3 DVDs from Netflix, on demand—-and still “nothing is on” you want to watch.  Now, Netflix has opened up this vast library of TV programs and movies that you can stream on demand to your TV (through our Wii no less!) or on to my Iphone!  Way cool.   Now I can usually find something to watch when I am in the mood.

Some Favorite Mainstream Movies

OK, here without commentary are some movies from this past year that if you haven’t seen are worth your time….all are  “thumbs up! in my humble opinion! Go check them out and if they sound interesting, give them a view!  Most are fairly mainstream….a few are a bit off the beaten path.

  • The Ghost Writer
  • The Kids are All Right
  • The Kings Speech
  • Toy Story 3
  • Inception
  • When You’re Strange
  • The Botany of Desire
  • Shutter Island
  • One Peace at a Time
  • Leap Year
  • Morning Glory

Now….Your Favorites!

I would love to hear about any books, web sites, movies, technology or anything in general that you have found made life more interesting, exciting or inspiring!  Leave a post or drop me a note.

I did ask folks on several social media sites I frequent for the books that inspired them this past year.  As of this writing, here is what I have received….I am going to check out the ones I’m not familiar with  myself!–

  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion by Leonard Sweet
  • The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
  • The Tao of Pooh
  • ‎Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr
  • The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
  • A Course in Miracles

Ok….give me your thoughts on these and others!

Happy 2011.

Mark

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!